On a surface that had many perplexed, Virat Kohli not only mastered the tricky pitch of Eden Gardens but also etched his name alongside the great Sachin Tendulkar with his 49th ODI hundred, powering India to a formidable total against South Africa. This milestone century from Kohli became the cornerstone of India’s innings, with a steady 101* runs, ensuring India’s positioning as a formidable force in the match. Kohli’s innings were well-supported by vital contributions from Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, and Ravindra Jadeja, each shifting gears over the 50 overs to set up an ‘above par’ score that Kohli proudly described.
The heat of Kolkata could not deter Rohit Sharma’s fiery start, as he effortlessly notched a quick 40 runs, leaving the South African bowlers scrambling for answers. The narrative changed, however, when spin was introduced, with Keshav Maharaj delivering a ball that would haunt any batsman’s memory, ending Shubmam Gill’s stint at the crease.
As the match progressed, Iyer and Kohli navigated the spin-heavy attack, pulling India back into a position of strength. A flurry of boundaries from Iyer and strategic play from Kohli pushed the run-rate up, overcoming the challenge posed by South Africa’s bowlers. Despite a slowdown in the middle overs, India’s batting lineup showed depth and tenacity, with Kohli’s century and Jadeja’s explosive finish setting a daunting challenge for South Africa’s chase.
Kohli’s Strategic Century Sets Stage for India’s Commanding Total
The Indian cricket team, spearheaded by Virat Kohli’s sensational batting, posted an awe-inspiring 326 runs, leaving fans and critics alike in awe. Kohli, with his unyielding 101*, matched the iconic Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI hundreds, a feat that will resonate across cricket history. With the pitch providing a challenging scenario for the batters, the Indian team’s resilience shone through, adapting and overcoming the odds to set a target that defines competitive cricket.
India’s innings closed with a formidable 326 for 5, a testament to their strategic play and Kohli’s unwavering focus. South Africa, facing one of the most vaunted bowling attacks in the tournament, now had the arduous task of chasing a target set by a team whose performance at Eden Gardens was nothing short of spectacular.